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Intellectual Development of Young Children In two separate issues of Time magazine the intellectual development of infants and preschoolers was analyzed with contrasting viewpoints regarding the development of their brains and the views regarding how best to encourage the cognitive abilities of these young children In the earlier issue dated February 3 1997 the special report consisting of two articles titled Fertile Minds and The Day-Care Dilemma the theories of Jean Piagets cognitive-development are supported In the latter issue dated October 19 1998 the special report titled How to Make a Better Student focused on refuting the theories supported in the earlier issue of this magazine Understanding the influence of Piagets and others views on intellectual development of young children on the contrasting views of this topic and how it reflects contemporary opinions on how young children should be raised is the focus of this paper Hopefully these contrasting articles will provide a more holistic understanding of Piagetian theory and its application to real-life situations I Childrens Intellectual Development Preoperations By the age of 3 and 4 years old children have attained what Piaget called functions or preoperations that enable young children to perform a number of feats far beyond the capabilities of infants Piaget 1950 Infants concentrate on constructing a world of permanent objects Once constructed these objects will be known to exist even when they are no longer present to the infants senses Preschool children in contrast are constructing a world of qualities and properties that different objects share in common They are beginning to identify and name colors shapes textures density and so on At this stage children are beginning to understand same and different as these terms refer to properties At the same time it is necessary to recognize that these classes are formed only on the basis of perceptual attributes such as color and form and not
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